UDS Blog

Display Retargeting: The What, How, and Why

2017 is half over and we’ve seen all sorts of RTB and programmatic trends come and go, but retargeting growth in particular has yet to slow down, and continues to be the star of the show for many programmatic buyers. As we have mentioned in some of our earlier posts, retargeting is key, and getting it started as soon as possible for your campaign should be one of your first steps in your display strategy. Most of our clients add in retargeting to their programmatic display and mobile campaigns. Why? Because it’s valuable. But why is it valuable? And what exactly is retargeting, and how does it fit into your overall campaign?


To explain what it is, let’s start off with a experience I’m sure you’re familiar with. Have you ever visited a website to check out a product or service, only to be seeing ads for those exact same site you visited earlier following around later as you browse the internet? That is a retargeting ad.  During your web visit, a piece of code (also referred to as a pixel) that was placed on that website “cookied” you, and set you into a specific audience or collection of data. Later on when you’re on another part of the web, the saved cookies allow servers to tailor a site’s page and begin to serve retargeting ads to you and anyone else who had previously visited that specific site.


Since the pixel pulls in users who have already been to your website, you now have a database of your most valuable audience to access. When looking at the marketing funnel, retargeting is a tool we can use to drive users at the top level, awareness, down towards the bottom for a specific action or conversion. The user was obviously interested in your site the first time, so you need something to keep them coming back. Retargeting is what keeps products in front of customers and brands top of mind, with the end goal that they’ll come back and convert or engage with your website.


Talk to any programmatic buyer, and they’ll tell you the same thing: compared to other display tactics, retargeting is the best performing tactic on the block. They come with better click through rates, and users who interact with retargeting display ads are significantly more likely to convert on your website and are much more likely to notice retargeting ads and respond positively to them. Combined with prospecting and audience tactics, along with a well-run search campaign, they all work together to help walk your potential customers from the beginning of the marketing process to the very end of the sale. You can make it even more powerful by combining dynamic creative for a tailored experience for the user. With programmatic retargeting at your disposal, you’re well on your way to making your digital campaigns more successful than ever.